Man Shot Multiple Times by Wisconsin Police Responding to Domestic Incident

August 24, 2020 Updated: August 24, 2020

A man is in hospital in serious condition after he was shot multiple times in the back on Sunday evening after he resisted police in Wisconsin.

The shooting happened just after 5 p.m. local time in the town of Kenosha as officers responded to the domestic incident.

According to local media reports, at least half a dozen witnesses say the man, now identified as Jacob Blake, 29, was trying to break up a fight between two women. It is believed children were at the scene when the shooting happened.

Kenosha News reported that police had used a stun gun on Blake after they arrived in response to the domestic dispute.

The shooting was captured on video, which showed Blake resisting police instructions as two officers with their guns drawn tried to stop him from walking to a car. As Blake opened the car door and leaned into the vehicle, at least one officer opened fire, shooting Blake in the back. Witnesses told Kenosha News at least seven shots were fired.

It is not immediately clear whether Blake had a weapon. Witnesses told the news outlet that Blake was unarmed. The Kenosha police were not wearing body cameras.

Blake was “provided immediate aid” by police and then taken to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee by Flight for Life, according to a statement issued by the Kenosha Police Department.

Another video showed female police officers sitting with two black women on the grass after the shooting. Other police officers were talking with another black woman who was accompanied by a child. The woman, believed to be Blake’s fiancée, was screaming when Blake was shot by police.

According to court records, Blake had an arrest warrant issued last month for trespassing, third-degree sexual assault, and disorderly conduct. He was charged in 2015 with resisting arrest.

The details surrounding the situation that led police to open fire on Blake remain unclear. The officers involved in the shooting will be investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, police said.

The department said early Monday that officers involved had all been placed on administrative leave.

The state’s Division of Criminal Investigation is heading a probe into the shooting and said in a statement it will seek to “provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days.”

The video footage of the shooting, but not what led to the shooting, has since been circulating online, causing crowds of people to gather and demonstrate at the scene. Black Lives Matter protesters were among those protesting at the scene.

Shooting Sparks More Protests and Violence

Locals in the area initially gathered at the scene of the shooting, attracted by the strong police presence as more law enforcement officers arrived at the crime scene.

Kenosha News reported that about an hour after the shooting, local Black Lives Matter protesters along with a member of the Lake County movement started arriving in protest of the shooting. The crowd reached more than 60 people, according to various media reports.

As the night went on, protests turned violent, with multiple fires being set at the scene and at then later at the local police station.

Rioters threw bricks at police vehicles to drive the police out of the neighborhood. One officer was hit on the head and knocked out, according to various reports.

Rioters also set fire to garbage trucks that were used to block the streets around the police station and sheriff’s office.

The Kenosha County Courthouse was also set on fire as rioters started looting the city.

Kenosha County declared a state of emergency curfew from 10:15 p.m. Sunday night until 7 a.m. Monday for public safety reasons.

Earlier in the night, Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, made a statement about the incident on Twitter.

“Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathy and I join his family, friends, and neighbors in hoping earnestly that he will not succumb to his injuries. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with black Wisconsinites,” he said.

“I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and our country for far too long.”

Zachary Stieber and Reuters contributed to this report.